140 Glass Candlesticks

Some of you may recall that almost a year ago my mom, sister and I went on a feverish hunt for glass candlesticks and recruited most of my extended family to help. Soon candlesticks were flying in from Florida, being bargained for at flea markets, bought on eBay, and found in consignment shops – and within a month or two, we’d rounded up the 140 candlesticks that we needed for our wedding centerpieces.

The joke was on us though: in August, Mike and I switched venues for our wedding and found out from our new venue that there was no way we’d be lighting 140 open air candles, it was totally against the fire code. Ladies, while it looks like a stunning centerpiece option on Pinterest and in the pages of bridal magazines, double check with your venue because it sounds like most places do not actually allow such a centerpiece.

We couldn’t very well return all of the candlesticks – there was no record of which ones came from where. So my mom, sister and I went through them and divided them up amongst ourselves. The remaining candlesticks got set aside to be sold on eBay.

So what you see above, are the 32 glass candlesticks that I took from the original group of 140. I’m going to have Mike select his favorites to be displayed on our mantle, and the rest will hang out in my China Dresser (more on that later) with our champagne flutes, cloth napkins and place mats, to be use in various centerpieces when company comes over. That is, unless Mike makes a fire code for our house…


Saying Goodbye to Wilson

Mike and I went over to the Wilson house (formerly referred to as the ‘rental’ property in my previous blog entires – now that we don’t live there anymore, I’ll refer to it as the Wilson house) to vacuum, dust and drop off a set of keys. The house looked so small without any furniture and things in it – and compared to the much larger house that we’ve been living in now for 3 days.

It feels like we’ve come a long way – even though we physically only moved 3 miles.

Oh, and note to self: there was an obscene amount of dust in that house when all of the furniture had been removed, must create a regime to make sure that does not happen in the new house – we both have too many allergies to be living with so much dust.

It’s The Little Things

There were so many things that I didn’t notice before we purchased this house (it actually kind of blows my mind because I’m the person at the mall who goes back to the store three times before actually buying a shirt, let alone a house that apparently I noticed nothing about). So far there have been no unsavory surprises, just little upgrades that the seller made that Mike and I would have been too cheap to make: like really fancy curtain rods and vent covers.

I noticed my favorite detail of all when I went to change the toilet paper a few days ago (the above picture is just a dramatization). I should backstory that I’ve always been slightly irritated by the standard toilet paper holder that you have to press in to change the toilet paper and put it back. At our old house the whole thing would routinely fall apart and the spring would go flying. Little did I know that this was an option!

As you can see in my photo representation above, when it’s time to change the roll, you merely just lift the toilet paper holder, swap out the roll and then snap it back into place. It’s so easy that I feel it must have either been 1) an expensive upgrade or 2) the population at large has never seen such an invention before. Or else I feel like every bathroom would have one of these.

I didn’t know I wanted this because I didn’t know what it was, but now that I have it, we’re never going back haha.

Learning to Communicate Through the House

When Mike and I took our Pre-Cana classes leading up to our wedding there was a test to see areas of our relationship that might need work. Having been together 7 years and known each other for 8 years, the priest who conducted the test actually double checked the scantron results because there were so many of the same answers on both of our tests. Our scores were rock solid, and the section leading the pack was communication.

It wasn’t always that way. When Mike and I first started dating we found it difficult to communicate with each other because we are so opposite in personality. Over the years we’ve mastered how to communicate with the other person in a way that they understand and retain.

However, communication isn’t a stagnant thing. It shifts and changes as various life events happen. Our communication needs in college were very different than they were post-college. Whereas in college we could see each other once every two weeks and talk on the phone only once a week, after college we found that we needed more face time. When we eventually moved in together, how we communicated shifted again and we adapted. Mike learned that I actually liked to hear about every little bit of his day, as well as that I liked to tell him every little bit of mine – and I learned that on nights that Mike doesn’t get home from work until after 10:30pm he wants to just sit and watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report with a beer in silence. Planning the wedding together lead to another set of communication and negotiation skills. We learned what was important to each other, and what decisions we could each make on our own without offending the other person. Those skills actually translated when it came time to start talking about paint colors for the new house.

And so it should come as no surprise to us that purchasing a house together would require an adapted set of communication skills. Over dinner last night I knew Mike was being a little short with me – knowing him as well as I do, that meant he was either exhausted beyond belief, or I’d done something to irritate him. It turned out to be a combination of the two. I couldn’t fathom what I did that could possibly have irritated him. As we learned when we moved in together – you have to share what’s on your mind or else things fester. So Mike explained that we didn’t share the same task-list priorities when it came to the house. I protested that I’d been doing what he asked me to do! It’s then that we took the time to break down exactly where our communication had slipped up:

Comcast was coming Sunday morning and Mike asked me to make sure that the Comcast man would have space to work in the Study/Media Room (a room low on his priority list since it’s not a vital living space). What he meant was, clear some paths for the Comcast man by stacking up boxes and moving them around. How I interpreted it was start going through big boxes that don’t have a lot in them (like the boxes housing our large vases – there were more of those than you’d think), take the contents out and find a place for them and then collapse the boxes so there would be more space in that room. While I thought I was completing his task, he thought I was just decorating living room and dining room instead of putting my energy into more important rooms like the clothes situation in our bedroom or sorting through the contents of my office.

Thankfully we caught this oversight in communication and expectations early on in the unpacking process so as to avoid a larger argument later on. I’d much rather have a few short conversations than an argument any day! Our commitment to sitting the other person down and explaining what’s irritating us, as well as actively taking that constructive criticism and applying it in the future, is probably why we seldom find ourselves arguing.

This made unpacking go much smoother today as we were both on the same page.

Moving Day

All of those cars are folks who came by to lend Mike and me a hand! You can see the moving truck tucked behind the bushes in our second driveway.

Thank goodness for Walfed (which is Walgreen’s version of Sudifed) – that at least kept me breathing through my nose most of the day yesterday.

After two last carloads from the rental to the new house, the rental was ready to be loaded onto the 17 foot truck that Mike rented.

Our band of merry men were a little delayed in arriving, so the first load was taken care of by our dads, my brother, Mike and our friend and former roommate Jim.

For the second truck load (plus an additional carload apparently) our forces almost doubled when our friends Steve, Mark and Szymanski showed up to pitch in. Another Steve showed up just in time for the last thing to be removed from the truck, but Mike kept him busy inside the house moving furniture as he decided where everything was going to go (Mike is a genius with furniture layout). All in all, the moving portion of Saturday was finished in less than 3 hours!

When it comes to actual moving days, I have a few skills myself: The first was utilized a couple years ago when my friends Richard and Nate had me watch the truck during their move. That might sound pointless, but the neighborhood that they were moving out of was a tad sketchy, and let me tell you I watched the hell out of that truck as everyone loaded it (haha). The second moving skill that I have was utilized yesterday as I perched by our back door and told people what rooms to put things in as they came off the truck. Mike later informed me that he’d already instructed people, so I was really just repeating himself.

The only real suspenseful moment (to my knowledge) was when the couch wouldn’t fit through the door. It probably didn’t help having me standing there going “oh darn, looks like we need to go buy a new couch!” Our couch is massive, old, and broken (there’s a piece of wood the size/thickness of a door under the cushions so you don’t totally sink down). Unfortunately (but I guess fortunately for our pocketbooks) the couch eventually made its way inside (now I just have to hope they remember how to get it out when the blessed day comes that we’re able to buy a new couch).

Once everything was inside, Mike’s mom took care of feeding everyone a hearty lunch of sloppy joes, potato salad (Mike’s favorite), chips and a ton of cookies.

Eventually all of the men made their way down to the finished basement to hang out while my mom and mother-in-law stuck around to help me get the beds made, unpack the rest of the dining room and do other such ladylike things.

By the end of the day, we only looked like partial horders – having four rooms virtually finished. I’ll post finished pictures all at once, but in the meantime, below are some shots of the house as it got filled:

The Living Room

The Study/Media Room. Mike made a game day decision to put our TV in here and use our actual living room as a formal living room (Yay, I was hoping we wouldn’t put the TV in the living room!)

The Master Bedroom (actually the we turned the real master bedroom into the stufy/media room). I learned from our last move and made sure to have the bed sheets washed and ready to be slept in right away!

The Basement – didn’t realize we had an organ til I started to pack up the basement in the old house!

Twas The Eve Before Moving

I took today off of work so that massive moving progress could be made in hopes of best preparing for tomorrow’s move. Helene, Tory and myself filled up two cars and took those two cars on two trips, and Mike took at least 4 (I lost count after that) trips over in his truck. And yet, after a long day of unpacking, putting things in the right rooms, and slowly becoming more not feeling well (I told you this would happen!), we returned home after going out to dinner with my family to still more stuff that needs to be packed before the furniture move tomorrow!

All I wanted to do when we got home was curl up on the couch with Mike and watch a few episodes of Community before getting to bed early. Ah well, perhaps I can sneak in a trip or two of stuff that doesn’t belong on the truck before our band of merry men show up tomorrow morning to empty out the rental house. And by band of merry men, I mean, a whole bunch of Mike’s guy friends who he has moving currency with.

What is moving currency you might wonder? Well, to those of us in our twenties, each time you move and recruit friends to help you are expected to do two things: 1) Provide them with donuts/coffee, pizza and beer; 2) help them move when they decide to get some new digs (translation: a new place to live). Mike is very strong and skilled when it comes to moving people, so thankfully, he has accrued enough moving currency to make tomorrow go by pretty fast (in theory).

This will probably be my last post until Sunday morning (then expect some pictures!!!) as Comcast isn’t slotted to bring us the interwebs until Sunday morning. So until then, think warm dry thoughts for us (as the current forecast reads a high of 48 and rainy).

It must be a chilly morning in Hades

For those of you who follow my Facebook rantings on the subject of Comcast, you can guess that I wasn’t looking forward to having to move account to the new house – I mean every time Comcast and I talk on the phone I’m pretty sure my blood pressure skyrockets and I end up in a foul mood.

One thing I dislike about the internet is that we’re getting to the point with ‘Live Chats’ and automatic websites that make it almost impossible to locate a customer service number. I’m a human, and I prefer talking to humans when making a potentially complicated transaction.

In my hunt to locate the customer service number I noticed a button that said ‘Moving?’ why yes, I am moving – so I clicked on it. Just enter in your current address and where you’re moving to. Could this be happening, could I not have to call Comcast?! Now select the date that you’d like to discontinue the service on your current residence and the date you’d like your new service installed (for non-Comcast users, you have to pay for someone to come out and “install” your service). I went to select a date between today and Monday, but alas, the earliest date that I could select was May 2nd. Well, that’s not what I want.

More digging around their site finally yielded a phone number. And then the most miraculous thing happened. I spoke to a cheery Comcast rep. who actually listened when I told her that no, I don’t want to upgrade anything, no, I don’t want to add any services and yes, I just want my bill to stay the same (hello $66/mo). Further more, when it came time to schedule the “installation” (I put it in quotes, because I’m pretty sure I’m capable of plugging the internet into my computer and not charging myself $30) I held my breath as I told her I’d like it done sometime between right now and Monday. Read, NOT May 2nd. She said sure thing! How about Sunday? Done and done. Then I waited for the dreaded 4 hour window that they like to give themselves, where the “installation” man inevitably comes at hour 3:59:57 or more often 4:03:35. But my cheery rep. merely stated that they’d be at my new house Sunday morning (I asked for morning) between 8-9am (I was cool with first thing in the AM, maybe then they won’t be running late). Rewind, that’s a 1 hour window of time.

A 1 hour window of time that isn’t May 2nd and my bill is staying the same – the clouds are parting and rays of sun are beaming down from the heavens. And I’m pretty sure my blood pressure didn’t spike once.